James leaves Off the Fence after 10 years

Darrel James has left his role as COO of Amsterdam-based distributor Off the Fence after nearly ten years with the company, TBI can reveal.

Darrel JamesThe experienced British exec decided to leave to return to the UK, and has taken a position as executive chairman of not-for-profit digital company, Cathartic.

It is understood the former ITV, S4C and STV exec will look to explore new non-exec, consultancy and TV roles next year after taking some time out to spend with his family.

James was responsible for all business operations for factual distributor OTF, including production, distribution, finance, acquisitions, technical operations, business and legal affairs, and human resources.

OTF founder and CEO Ellen Windemuth confirmed James’ departure to TBI, paying tribute to his work at the company. “Darrel has left Off the Fence after ten years. We have had a fantastic time with him, and he remains a great friend to us all,” she said.

His role will not be directly replaced directly, with OTF choosing to hand expanded responsibilities to staff members in business affairs, finance and distribution.

“I have already given more responsibility to a league of fantastic VP-level people in business affairs, finance and distribution, who really want the opportunity and are doing a fantastic job.”

OTF restructured last year after the exit of sales chief Bo Stehmeier and acquisitions boss Georgina Eyre.

This saw sales managers Ludo Dufour, Gerbrig Blanksma and Mark Dee-Shapland upped to VPs, Imelda Wiebers promoted to head of distribution, and Modern Times Group pay TV channels director Mette Kanne-Behrendsen brought in as VP, acquisitions.

Loren Syer-Willoughby had already joined from Indigo Film & Television as acquisitions executive.

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